New Strides in Life

American youth grow up under the assumption that we can achieve the American dream. We go to college and we obtain job experience to guarantee our future success. However, life often careens out of our control. We pull our self up by our bootstraps and try all over again, shaking off the depression and hopelessness nipping at our heels.

Time after time, life sends us debilitating storms. We end up treading water, feeling like we will drown. There comes a time in everyone’s life that we eventually admit that we are ultimately powerless to overcome the negative aspects of our life. Some people give up, and end up with physical and mental illnesses; some turn to addictions; and some realize that we need a savior outside of our self (Romans 7:18).

First, we attempt to trust in a person to bail us out. We get into codependent relationships that seem to stifle us in the end. In order to reinstate our sanity, we eventually realize that we must come to believe in a higher power. Some people try Eastern religions, positive thinking or something that epitomizes wholeness to them. This lasts for a little while, but often fizzles out, because our spirit is still dead in sin.

Everyone ever born has an innate knowledge of God within their soul, and they are yearning for their spirit to be reborn (John 3:1-21). Once we come to Christ as our Higher Power, He helps us to clear our conscience of the dead works of unforgiveness, anger, resentment, bitterness, etc. He is greater than anything this world has to offer (Philippians 2:13).

He also reminds us of people to whom we need to ask forgiveness, and He helps us to make amends for the harm we perpetrated on their life (Lamentations 3:40; Luke 6:31; Matthew 5:23-24). We can obtain Christian counseling or find an accountability partner to continually hold us responsible to walk in God’s Truth (James 5:16; 1 Corinthians 10:12).

As we humble our self before the Lord, He replaces our moral deficiencies with the fruit of His Spirit (James 4:10; Galatians 5:22-23). We come to know Him intimately, and He progressively exchanges our carnal nature for His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). God assures us of His love, which transcends our human understanding. Filling us with His Spirit He slowly and deliberately floods our entire being with Himself (Ephesians 3:19).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that no one is perfect, and we can forgive those who harmed us and ask forgiveness from those whom we have harmed. As we pray and read Your Word, draw us closer to You, tell us Your Will for each moment of our life, and give us the power to carry it out (Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 3:16). Thank You for totally forgiving us for our transgressions of Your law and for sanctifying us daily as we walk toward Your perfection (1 John 1:9; Matthew 5:48).

Thought for the Day:
Nothing but living in service to Jesus Christ can fill the void that continually haunts our life. – Romans 12:1

Waiting Patiently on the Lord

In the spiritual life, we can actually cherish our human weaknesses, because they keep us humble. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). He provides eternal blessings to those willing to give up everything in our life, which we value more than Him. (Matthew 13:45-46). He helps us to die to the temptations of our flesh and to walk in His mercy and power.

 

Self-sufficiency is the enemy of the Cross of Calvary. It prefers to struggle along, pulling itself up by it bootstraps and muddling through life in human reasoning and flesh. Once we come to realize our total impotence and insufficiency, we are able to lay our flesh on the altar of God and gain His forgiveness, regeneration and authority in exchange.

 

In this place of total surrender to Christ, we find His power to allow Him to accomplish all things in and through us (Philippians 2:13, 4:13). We are crucified with Christ and He abides in us (Galatians 2:20). We enter His rest and live, move and have our being from this place of serenity and love in Him (Acts 17:28). Our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings – enter His rest, and our hope comes only from Him (Psalm 62:5).

 

Hoping in the Lord, we are never put to shame (Psalm 25:3; 31:24). He exalts us and we inherit His Kingdom (Psalm 37:34). We wait on the Lord with courage and He strengthens our heart (Psalm 27:14). Waiting takes patience and most human beings lack patience; especially in today’s instant society, where we get everything we want at the push of a button.

 

As we envision our self dead in the tomb and then risen with our glorious Lord, we live each day in the realm of the Holy Spirit. Nothing of this world holds any value to us any more. We put Christ as our first priority and we place our total focus on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Living in the power of His resurrection, we walk in the Spirit each moment of the day. 

 

Prayer:

Father God, waiting on You with patience reaps so many rewards for us. You avenge our wrongs (Proverbs 20:22). You save us and we rejoice in You and Your salvation (Isaiah 25:9). You are good to those who hope in You and who seek Your face (Lamentations 3:25). Teach us to make You the priority of every moment of our day and to seek Your will for each of them.

 

Thought for the Day:

God hears the prayers and gives His attention to those who patiently wait on Him with their whole being. – Psalm 40:1; 130:5